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Reflecting on our Apprentice Season

Lark News
The five 2018-19 Apprentices pose in front of The Lark's BareBones curtain.

“Summer has come,” María said, “To talk of ending things: of plays-and tasks – house managing times – and even staged readings! And why New York is cold in June. And whether you’ll donate. (which you should! We turned 25!) Kaloo Kalay say bye today, to the Apprentice Team.”

It’s  bittersweet to know our time as Apprentices at The Lark has come to an end. It’s surreal to believe that ten months have flown by. We were welcomed with open arms the first week of September, and little did we know that a play development center in the middle of Times Square would quickly and undoubtedly feel like home. These months have been filled with exciting and challenging times. The staff has been the most supportive group of people ever, the artists have been so inspiring, and the work that we’ve witnessed being created is genuinely transformative.

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what our time here has been like. I asked our cohort to share some of their thoughts with these three questions.

  1. How would you summarize your experience at The Lark this season?
  2. What are one or two things that pleasantly surprised you during your time?
  3. What is something you learned and will carry with you?

Dani Stomper - Theater Management Apprentice

1. Challenging. Both in the sense of handling the needs of the apprenticeship and its place in my life, as well as in the ways it has stretched me to think about curating artistic spaces and my role in creating a fertile environment for those spaces to grow.

2. The level of support and love our artists have for one another! It's really astounding to see Lark alums support one another and invest in each other's artistic development, as well as The Lark's ever-developing community.

3. Being able to do something doesn't mean you are morally obligated to! Which is so, so easy to forget. I feel like I'm always the one encouraging friends to not burn the candle at both ends and to focus on one's goals, but it is so easy to get lost in the mindset of doing everything possible at all times that it is necessary to take space and time for self care, even when it's not the most convenient decision for others in that moment. Your body will thank you in the long run!!!

Kendra Ann Flournoy - Artistic Programs Apprentice

1. Invaluable. It was an awesome experience to share space with so many artists that I respect, and to observe them as they moved through their creative processes was such a privilege. I gained so much as a playwright and theater maker.

2. I was pleasantly surprised by the warmth of The Lark community. So many folks, both staff and artists, have made me feel welcome here. As a recent NYC transplant, that warmth truly helped me feel comfortable, helped me find my footing.

3. The level of hospitality that The Lark provides is incredible. I have seen very few organizations care for artists in a familial or communal way. The Lark has found a way to merge art, business/industry, and community. Those things aren't exclusive. I will carry that with me.

Shara Feit - Roundtables & Casting Apprentice

1. PROCESS! Joyful, messy process!

2. I was deeply moved by all of the ways in which The Lark and Lark artists made space for us apprentices. There were so many moments of generosity and beyond kindness, of folx helping out or checking in or being sweet or just listening.

I’ve learned that being lovely is the rule at The Lark, so one shouldn’t be surprised. But still, I have to say: Thank you, Larkees.

3. There is no wrong way to develop a play, as long as you’re proceeding with compassion, kindness, generosity, and a plethora of snacks.

María del Mar Fernández González - Communications Apprentice

1. I’d say: revealing. I’ve discovered that it’s equally as important to know what I’m passionate about, skilled at and enjoy doing. As well as being honest with myself (and others) in the areas or tasks that I’m not as efficient in. You can save yourself a lot of stress, as well as time for others. I recognize now that when being employed at a company, I shouldn’t just focus on what I can provide for “them,” but also being mindful in how these tasks are fulfilling my needs as an artist and person.

2. HOW EVERY SINGLE ARTIST THAT COMES THROUGH OUR DOORS IS EXCITED TO BE HERE! I’ve truly never been involved with a theater or a production where every person is truly thrilled to be in the space. The sense of community and support is palpable and admirable. I wish every theater had this energy.

3. I’ve learned that no matter what your job is, task, project... YOU come first. Your physical and mental health is more important than anything. And being in a work environment the respects your needs and is willing to be patient with you is so important.

Lauren Kiele DeLeon - Development Apprentice

1. I was trying to think of one good word for this question but I don’t think I can cut it down that easily. I think the best way to describe my experience is that The Lark provided me with what it provides all of its writers — with a safe space and home. My apprenticeship has given me a place with people I know I can come to whenever I need. So maybe the word I’m looking for is grounding. This season has grounded me in an artistic home and fulfilled me with theater that I believe is making an impact like no other.  

2. Honestly, I was really excited about the amount of plants and sunlight that we have at The Lark. It’s not your normal theater or administrative office that’s dark and isolated but instead it’s full of life and light that makes me happy to be at work.

3. That I don’t have to sacrifice being an artist to make a living. The Lark has supported me on all of my independent directing jobs in and outside of the office and it made me realize that, no matter what, I should never sacrifice what I’m passionate about for my day job or anything else and I’m so grateful for that support.

That’s all folks! We’re so grateful to The Lark for supporting us through our artistic journey and inspiring us to change the world one play at a time. It’s been a true honor and pleasure. We’ll miss every single one of you, and most importantly (as I’m sure Larkee artists can relate) we will most definitely miss the copious amounts of snacks! But all jokes aside, The Lark has altered our lives in ways we never imagined. Given us courage to pursue whatever goals we set ourselves up to, and of course, they’ve become the best theater family an artist could ask for. And for that... We thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

The 2018-2019 Apprentice Team